Two women had a talk about how to bring art to the people, and sparked the idea to paint murals with students of the Rakei Toa School.
Those two women were Nanette Lela’ulu, an established local artist, and Kairangi Samuels of Punanga Tauturu, the Cook Islands Womens Counselling Centre.
Together they hatched a plan to paint large murals, and Shona Pitt literally brought the project to town, on the walls of Cook Islands TV.
The two sides of the building facing the road now radiate with vibrant colour and beautifully painted designs.
It wasn’t easy though, no one just picks up a paint brush and draws perfect lines, just where they want them. But Nanette and her team figured out how to cut stencils to make patterns, and how to draw outlines of figures in action.
The work was done by a group of nine boys. Six of them were the core team, and did most of the artwork.
They are fourteen and fifteen years old and worked two afternoons a week for five months to complete the murals.
Their creativity and hard work turned a formerly brown house into a high-light of the road from Cooks Corner to Telecom.
At the official presentation of the murals on Friday 23 November, Ruteru …. explained the common theme and meaning of the five murals: a contemporary interpretation of the Polynesian legend of Maui, a traditional god and artist, a taunga, fishing islands out of the vast sea.
This project fished talent and beautiful and skillful effort out of a small pool of boys, who will never be the same.
Have a look: